Police welcome dismissal of taxi boss's application to set aside his arrest

04 April 2019 - 07:26
By Ernest Mabuza
Image: Sowetan/Thulani Mbele Vusi "Khekhe" Mathibela at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court last month, facing charges of intimidation and extortion.

Police on Wednesday welcomed the Pretoria High Court's judgment dismissing an application by Mamelodi taxi boss Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela, in which he sought to set aside his arrest on extortion charges.

Mathibela was arrested last month on charges of extortion, intimidation and assault.

At the time of his arrest, national police spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo said Mathibela was alleged to have been part of a group that was terrorising the community of Mamelodi.

The arrest came after police minister Bheki Cele held meetings with the community, in which they raised concerns about Mathibela’s alleged reign of terror.

Instead of applying for bail in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, Mathibela went to the high court late last month to challenge the lawfulness of his arrest in connection with the extortion charges.

When he was arrested on the extortion and intimidation charges, Mathibela was out on bail for his alleged involvement in the murder of North West businessman Wandile Bozwana in 2015.

Mathibela asked the high court to set aside his arrest on extortion and intimidation charges, citing that it was an unlawful arrest.

However, Judge Cassim Sardiwalla dismissed Mathibela’s application with costs on Wednesday.

The police said this meant Mathibela would remain in custody. His was remanded until April 26.

“It is up to him to do a formal bail application. Furthermore, the state has also filed a motion in the high court to have (Mathibela’s) bail on Bozwana’s case withdrawn,” police said in a statement.